Funny scene from a Weight Watchers meeting a few years ago that I attended:
We were talking about the link between adopting a lifestyle with more physical activity, and our social lives. Somebody mentioned that when you wake up early to go walking, you wind up finding other people who are doing the same thing and you become part of the “walking club.” Somebody else piped up, Yep – and you lose your membership in the Donut Club!
And we all laughed. Because – you guessed it – if your friends gather for coffee and donuts in the morning, you’re more likely to join them. And if your friends walk three miles before breakfast, that’s what you’re likely to do, too.
Social relationships matter when it comes to health.
This week, I polled a bunch of my hyper-fit friends (actually, most of them are in their 40’s, 50’s and even 60’s, and many of them are maintaining significant weight losses, in part by adopting a more physical lifestyle). What do you do to motivate yourself to keep on working out, day after day, month after month, year after year?
Here are their workout motivation life hacks with direct quotes from the friends who shared their thoughts with me on Facebook this week. Thanks everyone!
1. The group workout. No secret here.
Having plans with a friend really helps never want to disappoint them by not showing up.
Having plans to meet someone really helps. We keep a calendar of events too…so we need to stay in shape for upcoming races!
2. Setting and reaching goals.
From a fiftysomething triathlete who has maintained a 50-pound weight loss for more than a decade:
Pick an event or a goal that is just outside of my reach…now. Knowing that each workout brings be closer to the goal. If it’s too easy I get bored.
From another long-term weight-loss winner:
Having a goal and the good feeling I get when I get done working out.
3. The health benefits (including the head benefits) – and the tunes!
Knowing that my joints are looser after I walk. I also enjoy listening to podcasts as I go along.
Knowing I will feel better afterwards 🙂
Knowing that the next day’s workout will be that much harder [if I don’t work out today].
4. There are friends…and then there’s man’s best friend:
The dogs. They are sooo happy rain or shine to go for a run. The big guy even smiles.
This friend even sent a photo of her pups along with her comment:
5. And then there are the committed who have a strategy for every situation…
I have lots of little tricks- reviewing the checks on my calendar for completed workouts, saving special music for my workouts, reading the daily Every48 entry and wanting to keep up , the reminder that even a “quickie” counts, focus on the energy boost I’ll feel afterwards…
I’m not sure what my buddy below meant by fear…but then, he’s training for a 100-mile race in Leadville this summer, so I’m guessing it’s fear of not showing up at the race in shape. This is one of the people in my world who is always, always in good shape.
For social workouts, it’s the social aspect; for solo workouts, the primary motivation is fear. Post-workout high helps too.
6. And finally, from a rock-and-roll-loving rock star of a college friend from the great town of Atlanta…
You heard it here first. Life hacks for fitness motivation, brought to you by my Facebook friends.
Yesterday: A REST DAY with some light walking involved. I wanted to do a gym workout (I need a lifting session this week) but didn’t get it in. So, I’ll fit it in later this week.